Code of Virginia

Code of Virginia
Title 18.2. Crimes and Offenses Generally
4/2/2020

Article 5. Uniform Machine Gun Act.

§ 18.2-288. Definitions.

When used in this article:

(1) "Machine gun" applies to any weapon which shoots or is designed to shoot automatically more than one shot, without manual reloading, by a single function of the trigger.

(2) "Crime of violence" applies to and includes any of the following crimes or an attempt to commit any of the same, namely, murder, manslaughter, kidnapping, rape, mayhem, assault with intent to maim, disable, disfigure or kill, robbery, burglary, housebreaking, breaking and entering and larceny.

(3) "Person" applies to and includes firm, partnership, association or corporation.

Code 1950, § 18.1-258; 1960, c. 358; 1975, cc. 14, 15.

§ 18.2-289. Use of machine gun for crime of violence.

Possession or use of a machine gun in the perpetration or attempted perpetration of a crime of violence is hereby declared to be a Class 2 felony.

Code 1950, § 18.1-259; 1960, c. 358; 1975, cc. 14, 15.

§ 18.2-290. Use of machine gun for aggressive purpose.

Unlawful possession or use of a machine gun for an offensive or aggressive purpose is hereby declared to be a Class 4 felony.

Code 1950, § 18.1-260; 1960, c. 358; 1968, c. 229; 1975, cc. 14, 15.

§ 18.2-291. What constitutes aggressive purpose.

Possession or use of a machine gun shall be presumed to be for an offensive or aggressive purpose:

(1) When the machine gun is on premises not owned or rented for bona fide permanent residence or business occupancy by the person in whose possession the machine gun may be found;

(2) When the machine gun is in the possession of, or used by, a person who has been convicted of a crime of violence in any court of record, state or federal, of the United States of America, its territories or insular possessions;

(3) When the machine gun has not been registered as required in § 18.2-295; or

(4) When empty or loaded shells which have been or are susceptible of use in the machine gun are found in the immediate vicinity thereof.

Code 1950, § 18.1-261; 1960, c. 358; 1975, cc. 14, 15.

§ 18.2-292. Presence prima facie evidence of use.

The presence of a machine gun in any room, boat or vehicle shall be prima facie evidence of the possession or use of the machine gun by each person occupying the room, boat, or vehicle where the weapon is found.

Code 1950, § 18.1-262; 1960, c. 358; 1975, cc. 14, 15.

§ 18.2-293. What article does not apply to.

The provisions of this article shall not be applicable to:

(1) The manufacture for, and sale of, machine guns to the armed forces or law-enforcement officers of the United States or of any state or of any political subdivision thereof, or the transportation required for that purpose; and

(2) Machine guns and automatic arms issued to the national guard of Virginia by the United States or such arms used by the United States army or navy or in the hands of troops of the national guards of other states or territories of the United States passing through Virginia, or such arms as may be provided for the officers of the State Police or officers of penal institutions.

Code 1950, § 18.1-263; 1960, c. 358; 1975, cc. 14, 15.

§ 18.2-293.1. What article does not prohibit.

Nothing contained in this article shall prohibit or interfere with:

(1) The possession of a machine gun for scientific purposes, or the possession of a machine gun not usable as a weapon and possessed as a curiosity, ornament, or keepsake; and

(2) The possession of a machine gun for a purpose manifestly not aggressive or offensive.

Provided, however, that possession of such machine guns shall be subject to the provisions of § 18.2-295.

Code 1950, § 18.1-263; 1960, c. 358; 1975, cc. 14, 15.

§ 18.2-294. Manufacturer's and dealer's register; inspection of stock.

Every manufacturer or dealer shall keep a register of all machine guns manufactured or handled by him. This register shall show the model and serial number, date of manufacture, sale, loan, gift, delivery or receipt of every machine gun, the name, address, and occupation of the person to whom the machine gun was sold, loaned, given or delivered, or from whom it was received. Upon demand every manufacturer or dealer shall permit any marshal, sheriff or police officer to inspect his entire stock of machine guns, parts, and supplies therefor, and shall produce the register, herein required, for inspection. A violation of any provisions of this section shall be punishable as a Class 3 misdemeanor.

Code 1950, § 18.1-264; 1960, c. 358; 1975, cc. 14, 15.

§ 18.2-295. Registration of machine guns.

Every machine gun in this Commonwealth shall be registered with the Department of State Police within twenty-four hours after its acquisition or, in the case of semi-automatic weapons which are converted, modified or otherwise altered to become machine guns, within twenty-four hours of the conversion, modification or alteration. Blanks for registration shall be prepared by the Superintendent of State Police, and furnished upon application. To comply with this section the application as filed shall be notarized and shall show the model and serial number of the gun, the name, address and occupation of the person in possession, and from whom and the purpose for which, the gun was acquired or altered. The Superintendent of State Police shall upon registration required in this section forthwith furnish the registrant with a certificate of registration, which shall be valid as long as the registrant remains the same. Certificates of registration shall be retained by the registrant and produced by him upon demand by any peace officer. Failure to keep or produce such certificate for inspection shall be a Class 3 misdemeanor, and any peace officer, may without warrant, seize the machine gun and apply for its confiscation as provided in § 18.2-296. Upon transferring a registered machine gun, the transferor shall forthwith notify the Superintendent in writing, setting forth the date of transfer and name and address of the transferee. Failure to give the required notification shall constitute a Class 3 misdemeanor. Registration data shall not be subject to inspection by the public.

Code 1950, § 18.1-265; 1960, c. 358; 1972, c. 199; 1975, cc. 14, 15; 1978, c. 618; 1988, c. 460.

§ 18.2-296. Search warrants for machine guns.

Warrant to search any house or place and seize any machine gun possessed in violation of this article may issue in the same manner and under the same restrictions as provided by law for stolen property, and any court of record, upon application of the attorney for the Commonwealth, a police officer or conservator of the peace, may order any machine gun, thus or otherwise legally seized, to be confiscated and either destroyed or delivered to a peace officer of the Commonwealth or a political subdivision thereof.

Code 1950, § 18.1-266; 1960, c. 358; 1975, cc. 14, 15.

§ 18.2-297. How article construed.

This article shall be so interpreted and construed as to effectuate its general purpose to make uniform the law of those states which enact it.

Code 1950, § 18.1-267; 1960, c. 358; 1975, cc. 14, 15.

§ 18.2-298. Short title of article.

This article may be cited as the "Uniform Machine Gun Act."

Code 1950, § 18.1-268; 1960, c. 358; 1975, cc. 14, 15.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of these sections may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.

The Virginia General Assembly is offering access to the Code of Virginia on the Internet as a service to the public. We are unable to assist users of this service with legal questions nor respond to requests for legal advice or the application of the law to specific facts. Therefore, to understand and protect your legal rights, you should consult an attorney.

The Code of Virginia online database excludes material copyrighted by the publisher, Michie, a division of Matthew Bender. Copyrighted material includes annotations and revisors' notes, which may be found in the print version of the Code of Virginia. Annotated print copies of the Code of Virginia are available in most Virginia public library systems, from LexisNexis (1-800-446-3410), and from West, a Thomson-Reuters business (1-800-344-5008).